Frances “Babe” Johnson, age 93, of Hutchinson, formerly of Hector, Minnesota, passed away Sunday, November 12, 2017, at Harmony River Living Center in Hutchinson.
Funeral Service will be Friday, November 17, 2017, at 1:30 P.M. at the First Lutheran Church in Hector, Minnesota, with interment in the Hector City Cemetery.
Visitation will be Friday, November 17, 2017, for 2½ hours prior to the service, from 11:00 A.M. – 1:30 P.M., all at First Lutheran Church in Hector.
Memorials may be made to the "Babe Johnson Memorial Fund”, 83424 490th Street, Hector, MN 55342.
Frances “Babe” (VanderVoort) Johnson was born at her family home in Bijou Hills, South Dakota, on September 15, 1924, to Albert VanderVoort and Trina (Timmer) VanderVoort. As the tenth child in her family her nickname became “Babe” and the name stuck for the rest of her life as most of us didn’t even realize that her given name was Frances. Babe attended grade school in a country school near her home in Bijou Hills, South Dakota. She attended high school in Platte, SD, where she graduated in 1942. In high school she was an accomplished trombone player. She and her sisters were avid ball players where Babe showed she could throw a ball as well as many of the guys.
Babe moved to Osceola Township, Hector, MN, after graduating from high school in SD. She worked at the Hector Mirror as well as a few other part time jobs. One day Frank Johnson saw Babe get out of a car across the street and thought to himself….WOW…this is the woman I want to marry! Two years later on March 15, 1944, Frank and Babe were married at the Church of Hope in Osceola Township. Frank and Babe lived on a farm in rural Hector, MN, until 2013 when they moved to The Pines in Hutchinson, MN. Babe worked alongside Frank on the farm as wife, mother, and homemaker. She was an avid gardener and loved her flower gardens where she cut many blooms to bring into the house. Babe baked, canned, and froze all types of wonderful food and had a famous “Cookie Jar” which she kept full for all who came in the house to have coffee. Babe and Frank’s life on the farm taught many values including work hard to make your way in life, don’t be lazy, love each other, go to church, put God first, and always think the best are instilled in all of the family today. That marriage was blessed with 73 years 8 months, 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren. Babe and Frank also consider (Richard) Lars Olaf Lindgren, who spent a year living with them while attending Hector High School, their son. Richard’s four children Gustaf, Elin, Karl-Axel, and Hanna Yin are their additional grandchildren.
Babe was very active in the Hector Church of God where she sang many specials with her beautiful alto voice. Later she was a member of the Litchfield Church of God. Babe loved playing golf and was a member of the Oakdale Country Club where she played as much as possible and was also inducted into the Oakdale Hall of Fame. Babe also loved bridge, scrabble, and any card game where she showed she was a fierce competitor. Babe also crocheted several hundred placemats as gifts she gave to family and others. At the Pines Babe actively participated in Bingo, Hand and Foot card games, Bridge, and Wii bowling.
Babe is survived by her husband, Frank Johnson, Hutchinson, MN; Children: Larry Johnson and wife Kathy, Hector, MN, Wayne Johnson and wife Gwen, Blomkest, MN, Vicki (Johnson) Decker and husband Bill Decker, Blue Ridge, GA; seven grandchildren including Deron and (Sally) Johnson, Brian and (Jessica) Johnson, Jayme and (Jeremy) Schultz, Tammy and (Peter) Holm, Erin and (Terry) Stevens, Amanda and (Mark) Childers, and Joshua and (Jamie) Stone; 21 great-grandchildren including: Alyssa, Brooke, and Carter Johnson; Juliana, Cameron, and Vanessa Johnson; Grace, Isabel, Owen, and Ava Schultz; Julia, Emma, Frank, and Erik Holm; Layla and Emorie Stevens; Miranda, Luke, Ethan, and Haley Childers; and Miles Harper Stone.
Babe was preceded in death by her parents, all of her siblings, and her beloved granddaughter, Kimberly Sue Johnson.